Are you searching for land to build your dream home in Northern Virginia?
Hi, I’m Jonathan Kennedy, real estate agent and land specialist with Pearson Smith Realty, and everyday I help people like you find great sites for building homes in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and elsewhere.
Not sure what to look for in a future home site?
In the Northern Virginia Land Buyer’s Due Diligence Guide, I share a list of 56 questions to think about as you evaluate prospective land purchases.
As a special bonus, when you sign up for the guide, you will also start receiving weekly in-depth articles to coach you through the land buying process and ensure you have all the resources you need to confidently buy land.
How has COVID-19 affected Northern Virginia land markets?
The residential land market has held up remarkably well during the past 6 months. In Fairfax County and Loudoun County, median land sale prices have increased compared to the same 6 month period last year.
The total number of land sales decreased in Fairfax County and increased in Loudoun County. People have more flexibility to work remotely, and buyers are expressing a desire to escape the densely populated confines of Beltway living.
On average, land listings in Fairfax County and Loudoun County have been selling for 92-93% of asking price, and properties are selling about 40% faster today than this time last year.
What options do I have for financing my land purchase?
It’s important to understand that most banks do not offer financing on raw land unless it is rolled into a construction loan.
Therefore, you generally have two options: (1) pay cash for the land, or (2) get pre-approved for a land/construction loan covering the full cost of the land and home construction. If you go with the second option, then the bank will need to review your new home plans before approving the loan.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to finance the land by itself. Some small banks and specialty lenders will finance raw land on a case-by-case basis and depending on the buyer’s qualifications.
If you’d like to discuss your specific situation, you can contact me directly at 202-750-4050.
Estimating construction costs is a tricky business, but here’s some rough guidance to get you started…
At the low end, you might pay $110/SF for a very basic home with minimum customization and entry level finishes, not including the cost of land and site development.
At the other end of the spectrum, you could pay more than $350/SF for a truly luxury design/build experience.
For those looking for a happy medium, it’s possible to build a home with a custom home builder in Northern Virginia for $200-$275/SF.